I love the history of the New World, both before and after the Spanish Conquest. I’m slowly working on a pre-conquest setting called the Place of Reeds. This section is about using Fate RPG 3.0 in a Mesoamerican setting; I’ve called this Fate RPG variant Tonulli. There are a lot of Fate 3.0 variants but Tonulli is primarily based on Free Fate with bits from Spirit of the Century.
Meaning of Tonulli
The Nahuatl word for fate or destiny is tonulli. Tonulli was also the word for daysign, i.e. a person’s birth sign; this is because the daysign was considered to determine the individual’s future.
All Mesoamerican characters should take an Aspect that is duty to a lord, state and/or religion. All males, being members of the militia, need at least one weapon skill. Females must have weaving skill above the default.
Steps of Character Creation
- Think about your character concept, reviewing the ideas below.
- Choose a Daysign for your character
- Choose a Nickname for your character
- Go through the phases (see below) in order, picking two aspects each phase.
- Where you come from
- Assign your skills.
- Select five stunts for your character.
Players can adopt any character concept they want as long as it fits within the overall flavour of the setting. A Mesoamerican setting had a few common themes worth taking a look at.
- Farmer / Hunter / Fisherman
- Warrior / Knight
Mesoamerican characters are named after the day they were born; their Daysign. The Daysign corresponds to the day in the 260 day ritual calendar. For example One House (Ce Calli in Nauhtl). Some Daysigns were considered either lucky and others unlucky; characters with those Daysigns might take an appropriate Aspect.
In addition to their Daysign Mesoamerican characters have a nickname, such as Cat’s Paw (Acolmiztli). Usually people were referred to by their nickname, however, the daysign could be used to distinguish similar nicknames.
You can use pretty much anything for a nickname
- an object like Brilliant Jade, TBnoch (Stone Cactus) Tenzacatetl (Lip Ornament), Xiucozcatl (Turquoise Necklace) Xocoyol (Ankle Bell) Xomimitl (Lower-Leg Arrow), Tzompan (Beard Flag)
- a quality like He Who Is Frequently Angered, Tizoc (He Who Made People Bleed) Tlacahuepan (Human Beam) TlacatBotl (Godlike Man) Tlacayelel (Clear Is His Liver), Xiucaque (Owner of the Blue Sandals)
- a plant or animal like Rain Flower; Quauhtlatoa (Speaking Eagle) Quirnichetl (Mouse Bean) TBnoch (Stone Cactus)
- a symbolic action such as Eagle Going Into The Fire, Totoquihuaztli (Repeatedly Stirred Fire), Tziutecatl (He Who Takes Care of Green Herbs or the Tur- quoise),
If the character’s nickname is central to their concept, then the nickname might also become an Aspect.
Background: Where you come from
Pick your clan, ethnic background, education and schooling, profession, guilds, preferred gods, and any allegiances.
See Design Notes for how I came up with this list.